During the regime of King Ahab and Jezebel the heathen worship of Baal reached its zenith. Jehovah, the God of the fathers exhibited His wrath by visiting Israel with a great drought and consequent famine.
Elijah, the prophet of God, requested the king and the people to gather with him upon Mount Carmel, building two altars there, one for Baal and one for Jehovah, and he who should answer with fire from heaven should be acknowledged as God.
The Baal priests engaged themselves all morning to induce Baal to answer them with fire, but without avail. But upon a short and strong prayer of Elijah. God answered with fire from heaven, proving Himself to be God and Elijah His prophet..
About 15 years later, under the regime of king Ahaziah, son of Ahab, the king tried to make the prophet of God his captive. For that purpose the king sent out twice captains with forty men each. They found Elijah sitting upon a hill. The two captains addressing Elijah said to him: “Thou man of God, the king said: COME DOWN.” And twice Elijah repeated the saying: “If I be a man of God let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty.” And both times fire came down from heaven and consumed them all.
By these signs Jehovah showed Israel that He is GOD, and an idol nothing. And yet, notwithstanding, king, priest, prophet and people would not return to the Jehovah worship of their fathers.
In the meantime, God promised His prophet the glory to be soon taken home, commanding him to first anoint Jehu as king of Israel, and Elisha in his place..
It seems that soon after Elijah had that dispute with the three captains, as recorded in, thatElijah and Elisha walked toward the city of Bethel, where they came in contact with some of the sons of the prophets.
Proceeding upon their way toward Jericho, they were met with some other sons of the prophets. At Jericho there was a school, what we would call a college, or a university perhaps, but, howsoever, the students and perhaps some of the professors, purposely set out to meet the two men of God.
Naturally, they had noticed that Elijah had placed his mantle upon a poor uneducated farmer, instead of upon one of the wise and learned men of the graciour Jericho school. It stands to reason that they resented such an action. They were human beings and, of course, jealous.
Therefore, and on that account, their strange remark to Elisha, repeating the same words as uttered by the sons of the prophets of Bethel. They said: “Knowest thou, dumb farmer, that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head today?” (How pious they were, speaking of the Lord). And both times, Elisha feeling their insult, calmly said: “Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.”
Met are yet the same, and, very reasonable that many of our own ecclesiastics act as if they alone are possessors of the Holy Spirit, not deeming it possible that the Holy Spirit is free to express Himself through an uneducated farmer, if He so listed.
The two men of God, continuing their journey, in spite of the remonstrations of Elijah to Elisha to tarry in Bethel, in Jericho, they came by the river Jordan.
Here Elijah took his mantle and smote the river, and the waters divided, leaving a pathway for them to walk over.
Then said Elijah to Elisha: “Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee.” And Elisha said: “I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.” (A double portion of the Holy Spirit. O how glorious). This was granted in case Elisha would be permitted to see Elijah taken away.
Walking and talking together, a chariot of fire drawn by horses of fire appeared and parted them asunder, and Elijah went to heaven with a whirlwind.
Elisha beholding this aid: “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof.””
Elisha taking up the mantle of Elijah went, back, and coming to the Jordan, hitting the water with the mantle said: “Where is the God of Elijah”? And the waters parted as before and Elisha went over.
When the sons of the prophets of the Jericho school saw him, they recognized the spirit of Elijah resting on Elisha, and they met and bowed themselves before him. They understood that Elijah had departed to the spirit, but that his body was somewhere cast down upon the mountains or in one of the valleys.
Therefore, they told Elisha that they represented fifty strong men and insisted that he should command them to look for the body of Elijah.
But Elisha knowing Elijah went to heaven with body and all refused to accommodate them in their evil plan.
Yet they refused to listen to the mouth of God, and at last to shame them, Elisha allowed them to hunt for the body of Elijah. After a search of three days they came back, but found him not.
This is Jericho Theology. Hunting for dead bodies. No, they do not believe the mouth of God. They do deny His Truth. They turn the Word of God into the foolish ideas of the human mind.
Such is Jericho Theology. O Jericho Theology was thy spirit not very successful in corrupting our modern colleges and universities? And is Jericho Theology not honored and exalted in our own schools and colleges?
O thou destroyer of the temples of God. God shall once shame, shame Jericho Theology.
J. H. Hoekstra,
South Holland, Il.